Sunday, December 6, 2009

the africville explosion

fresh from last week's bob marley's bluenose song, i'm continuing my one-man black history month with an article teased on the front page of the herald today.

no surprise who brought the issue to my attention: eddie carvery. he read black snow to see what my writing was like and said he liked it, but it forgot to mention africville. fair point. so, by ways of making amends, i wrote today's article looking at the tale of two cities - how on dec 5 1917, life in richmond and africville was pretty similar. basic services, scattered electricity and patchy plumbing. the explosion wiped out richmond and largely spared africville, but 50 years later, africville was a razed ruin and the north end was thriving.

a reader just called me to tell me about a book he'd read about a later phase of the halifax relief commission - they had too much money and were having a hard time deciding where to spend it. did it go to africville?

of course not.

you can read the article here.
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